Guided Trips


Current fishing conditions in the mountains have been tough although rain overnight has bumped up the levels on Park streams, especially on the Tennessee side. Be careful as lots of leaves are going to be coming down now with brisk northwest winds behind the cold front. That can make fishing challenging. If you do fish, I would suggest fishing dry/dropper with a #14 Orange Stimulator or Orange Elk Hair Caddis up top and a bead head Green Weenie, Isonychia Nymph, or Blue-winged Olive Nymph (#18-#20 bead head Pheasant Tail will suffice here) underneath. Focus on stealth and accurate casts.

If you are flexible in where you fish, I recommend heading for your favorite tailwater to trout fish. Most tailwaters are offering good flows for wade fishermen right now and the fish are hungry. The Hiwassee River has been recently stocked for the delayed harvest and the Caney Fork continues to fish very well on our guide trips. The Watauga, South Holston, and Clinch Rivers should be great as well.

If musky are on your mind like they are for me, then be patient and hope for more rain. The musky streams and rivers are very low right now and we need some water before safely navigating those streams in the larger boats that are preferred.

This is the time of year that brown and brook trout as well as some strains of rainbow trout spawn. On rivers like the Caney Fork, many anglers choose to target these spawning trout. This is unfortunate, especially this year. There are plenty of pre- and post-spawn trout to target if you want to catch big fish. With low water the norm, the Caney Fork actually has a chance at producing some natural recruitment this year barring any unforeseen high water. The same thing applies in the Smokies. Spawning brown and brook trout are extra vulnerable because of the low water and should be allowed to do their thing in peace. The future of these fisheries depends upon conscientious anglers doing the right thing. If you must fish to spawning trout, please use very heavy tippets and quickly land and release all fish caught. If you want to learn how to be successful this time of year without chasing active spawners, please consider booking a guided trip, and I would be glad to teach you how to hunt these large fish.

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Photo of the Month: The Colors of a Rainbow

Monday, December 16, 2013

Still Some Left

After the recent arctic outbreak here in Colorado, I'm sure that most people don't want to be reminded of how good they could have it.  You know, those nice fall days where the colors are peaking but the daytime temperatures are still reasonable...?  Or maybe you will think of spring with its increasing BWO hatches and hungry trout.  Anyway, whatever it is, I discovered I still have some fall pictures left, quite a lot of them actually.  So here are a few more of my favorites from back in October.

The Flatirons after an early season snow shower

Nature's Canvass in the upper Crystal River Valley

County Rd. 12 approaching Kebbler Pass

Marcellina Mountain

Aspen near Kebbler Pass


  1. David
    I can see where you would not want to leave this place. Outstanding images ---My son and I will wetting the flies you tied for me tomorrow on the tailrace. What did the Fish of the Year 2012 weight--thanks for sharing

    1. Bill, that's a good question. I'm not sure how much that fish weighed. Maybe I need to get one of those scales that attach to a net...

  2. Stunning photographs David.

  3. I have been enjoying the warmer weather. Not having to wear a coat around to stay warm is certainly less hassle, and I am sure it is easier to fish without having to cut out a hole in the ice at -11 degrees before you can start. Colorado really does have some amazing views too. As beautiful as the snow can be, it can often cover other beautiful aspects beneath it.

    1. Thanks for reading James!



Subscribe to the Trout Zone Anglers Newsletter!

* indicates required